Orange & Osceola County
Seminole & Brevard County
During or after a divorce, the last thing many parents may think they have to contemplate is having their minor child kidnapped by their ex-spouse or the child's other parent. If parental kidnapping occurs, it can be a very traumatic experience.
According to Florida Law it is unlawful for any person, in violation of a court order, to lead, take, entice, or remove a minor beyond the limits of this state, or to conceal the location of a minor, with personal knowledge of the order.
In parental situations this also applies to domestic separations where a current standing court order does not yet exist.
If a minor child is relocated outside of 50 miles from the child's primary residential parent without permission from the court or permission from the child's other biological parent parental kidnapping criminal charges may be fired against the offending parent.
It is not uncommon for the parent who abducted or moved the minor child outside of the lawful geographic boundary to attempt to justify their actions by asserting claims of parental misconduct, child abuse, or child molestation against the parent that the child has been abducted from or denied accessibility to his or her minor child.
When parental kidnapping occurs the court which has jurisdiction will immediately order the child be returned to the jurisdiction and returned to the rightful primary custodial parent. In cases that involve allegations of parental misconduct, child abuse, or child molestation exist the court may decide to have the allegations investigated prior to ordering the minor child be returned to the rightful primary residential parent.
Regardless if allegations are made against a primary residential parent or not, if your child has been abducted by the child's other parent, seek experienced legal counsel immediately.
Often times when parental kidnapping occurs, the offending parent may temporarily or permanently loose parental visitation rights for the minor child. This is something that your legal counsel may advise you of as an option to request of the court in an effort to ensure parental kidnapping does not occur in the future. The court has the authority to grant this request, choose to allow the offending parent supervised visitation only, or decide to temporarily grant restrictions that will be revisited after a specified period of time.
In making any decision regarding a minor child, the court must rule in the best interest and safety of the minor child.